Job Spotlight-Sarah Bennett RN-Electroconvulsive Therapy( ECT) Nurse

I want to feature our Kansas City rockstar nurses in our Job Spotlight! If you know of an amazing nurse or have a unique job and are interested in being featured please email me at holly@nurseskc.com.  All I need is your story and photo to share!

I love hearing about unique nurse jobs, especially right here in KC. Next we have Sarah Bennett who is sharing her nurse story:

“I have been an RN since 2003. I started as a tech and a phlebotomist while attending nursing school. I worked as a tech and as a nurse in Labor & Delivery/Women’s Children’s Health at Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC).

I took a few years off to be home with our two children, Lauren, seven-years-old, and Brendan, nine-years-old. Both were adopted as infants through foster care. Brendan had some special health needs, so I needed to be home with him until they reached school age.

When they started school, I was ready to re-enter the workforce. SMMC was a natural choice. There was an opening in the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) program for a PRN nurse, so I jumped on it. Days, no weekends or holidays, and morning (for PRN RN’s) hours only, which was a great fit for me!

ECT can be an effective treatment for severe and medication-resistant depression, and for those who are suicidal. Treatments start with an acute phase of three treatments per week, up to 10-12 total. The ECT psychiatrist determines if our patients should continue with maintenance treatments, which is individualized to each patient.

We use a machine called a MECTA, which delivers the electricity to the brain via two electrodes (with conductive gel applied). The placement of the electrodes depends on the patient and their needs, as does the settings. Again, it’s individualized to each patient.

The patient is prepped just like they would be for any procedure involving anesthesia – IV, heart monitor, oxygen probe and vital signs. We do a “time-out” on all patients before the procedure. The doctor delivers the treatment with the push of a button and it’s done. Typically, patients wake and can answer orientation questions within five to 10 minutes following the procedure. That’s when we do orthostatic vital signs and assessments every five minutes for 25 minutes. If all looks well, they’re sent home.

When patients are in the acute phase, it’s quite a commitment, but it is so rewarding to see them get their lives back.”

If you have any questions, please call our ECT Program at 913-789-1806.


Sarah Bennett, RN

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